split (why rilke is so important)

In a letter to Arthur Fischer-Colbrie (December 18, 1925) Rilke wrote:
That a person who through the horrible obstructions of those years had felt himself split to the very depths of his soul, into a Once and an irreconcilable, dying Now: that such a person should experience the grace of perceiving how in yet more mysterious depths, beneath this torn-open split,the continuity of his work and of his spirit was being re-established—this seems to me more than just a private event. For with it, a measure is given for the inexhaustible stratification of our nature; and many people who, for one reason or another, believe that they have been torn apart, might draw special comfort from this example of continuability. (The thought occurs to
me that this comfort too may somehow have entered into the achievement of the great Elegies, so that they express themselves more completely than they could have done without endangerment and rescue.)

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